Standard Real Estate Investments, LP (Standard), a minority-owned national real estate investment and development firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, announced the acquisition of the Senator Square and East River Park shopping centers in Northeast Washington D.C. In aggregate, the centers are entitled and programmed for a $650 million mixed-use redevelopment offering 1,500 residential units, including approximately 300 affordable units (includes 110 units by the National Housing Trust), and 120,000 square feet of community serving retail space. Financing for the transaction was provided by the Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF), managed by affiliates of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and Forbright Bank.
The 13-acre site, located at the intersection of Minnesota Ave NE and Benning Road NE, blocks from the Minnesota Avenue Metro Station, comprises the majority of the Northeast Heights master plan. Trammell Crow Company is currently developing a 257,000 square feet built-to-suit office building to accommodate the new headquarters of the District of Columbia’s Department of General Services (DGS) on the balance of the master plan.
“Standard’s acquisition at Northeast Heights, and our ongoing project in Congress Heights, are consistent with our mission to invest in development that improves the quality of life in diverse communities locally, and around the country,” said Jerome Nichols, President of Standard. “These projects speak not only to our business philosophy of creating value in underinvested communities by importing new economic activity, but our strong commitment to the D.C. region over the long term. We’re extremely pleased to acquire this site and start work on a well-located project with the scale to have transformational impact. We look forward to engaging with current retail tenants, neighborhood residents, and community leaders around the future of Northeast Heights.”
“The structural need for quality, attainably priced housing across the country remains urgent and transcends economic cycles, particularly in majority-minority neighborhoods,” continued Robert Jue, CEO of Standard. “We are uniquely positioned to address this need and are excited to work with public and private-sector partners to make it happen at Northeast Heights.”
“The BEDF is proud to provide $10 million in acquisition financing for a project creating quality affordable homes and commercial activity that will lead to economic opportunities for local residents,” said Tiffany Durr, Senior Director of Fund Investments for the BEDF and LISC Strategic Investments. “The plan aligns with the BEDF’s mission to close the racial wealth gap by increasing capital access for Black-led businesses and developers.”
“As a purpose-driven bank, we have a unique ability to support our community and build a more equitable and sustainable future,” said Trevor Matese, Senior Vice President for Community Lending at Forbright Bank. “We’re proud to be a part of this project, and we look forward to continuing to serve the community alongside strong partners like Standard.”
Nichols, together with Terrance Williams, a Principal with Standard and formerly a Trammell Crow Company executive, will oversee both Washington D.C. developments. The two projects represent over 2 million square feet of development and approximately $1 billion in value, making Standard’s development pipeline one of the largest in the District of Columbia. The firm plans a multi-phase approach to redevelop Northeast Heights, and has once again partnered with the National Housing Trust to develop a standalone affordable housing building, along with affordable units that will be mixed into the market rate buildings..
“We are excited to again partner with Standard in the development of affordable homes in a transit-oriented location that best serves the needs of its residents,” said Priya Jayachandran, CEO and President of the National Housing Trust. “We also want to thank our acquisition lenders, the Housing Partnership Fund and the National Housing Trust Community Development Fund. We look forward to working with Jerome in bringing new life to the area and serving the community.”
“We couldn’t have planned a better homecoming,” said Nichols. “The opening of our DC office, Terrance’s hiring, and the acquisition of Northeast Heights have combined to give us the perfect opportunity to leverage our institutional experience and development acumen to best serve the population here. It’s incredibly rewarding work and I am fortunate to be supported by a talented team of development and investment professionals that make it all possible.”